Posted: Feb 10, 2015
DOE Research Looks At Taking Solar Power To The Next Level
Many of us attend webinars that tease us with an intriguing title. One that caught my eye recently was hosted by the Department of Energy. The title was “Highly Efficient Solar Thermochemical Reaction Systems”. It sounded like a highly technical topic that someone like Bill Nye the Science Guy would just love to hear.
Posted: Jan 27, 2015
Do You Really Need An Annual Roof Inspection? Absolutely!
Having your roof inspected is the single most important thing you can do to ensure its overall lifespan. Annually is better than never, but if you are in a location that experiences extreme weather conditions over different periods throughout the year (like most of us), the majority of roofing contractors suggest inspecting your roof at least twice a year, in the Fall and again in the Spring or early Summer. Since Spring will be here before we know it, it’s actually a good time to start thinking about this now.
Posted: Jan 20, 2015
Coil Coated Metal’s Specialized Coatings Differentiate Your Products
Today’s prepainted metals offer much more than just beautiful, flawless top coats. Coil coated metal’s specialized coatings differentiate your products from the competition. Specialized coatings include antimicrobial, non-skid, fingerprint resistant, reflective, anti-graffiti and anti-static coatings just to name a few. Whatever your product needs, the National Coil Coating Association and its members have the coating solution that will set you apart.
Posted: Jan 06, 2015
Health And Wellness Certification For Building Designs Are On The Horizon
Even though there is no letter “H” or “W” in the acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) the USGBC’s green building rating system is creeping into the health and wellness of the building occupants. Lowering energy consumption and reducing the environmental footprints of buildings have been the primary focus of most of the major green building rating programs, including LEED and Green Globes…until now.
Posted: Dec 16, 2014
Institutional Knowledge and Employee Retention
Institutional knowledge is the knowledge of your business and industry contained within your company. It’s not easy for the accountants to measure, but as any good manager knows, it is one of the key assets of all successful businesses.
Posted: Dec 02, 2014
Will The Enernet Be The Future Of Electricity?
Just about everyone has seen the bulky inverter units on their cords used to charge laptop computers, smart phones, i-pads and numerous other small electronic devices. Even rooftop photovoltaic panels require inverters to change the DC power generated by the modules to AC for use inside the building. As the building construction industry moves closer to net zero energy designs, there is a growing need for buildings to generate their own electricity and to rely less on the traditional large utility grid.
Posted: Nov 12, 2014
Is It Rust Or Should We Now Call It Patina?
I have a friend who bought a beat-up Model T truck a couple years ago and did a great job of bringing it back to running condition, as he’s done with other old autos. What's different about this one is that it doesn’t look as restored as his other projects. There are no bright colors or great graphics. In fact, he preserved the truck’s “barn-find” appearance by sealing the rust that covers nearly all of the metal surfaces.
Posted: Nov 11, 2014
USGBC Hints At Surprises Ahead During Greenbuild Remarks
Like every Greenbuild conference and expo ever held, this year’s event in New Orleans was filled with new and surprising information. One can get a sense of the hot topics just by looking at the titles of the more than 200 education sessions, and the speeches given at the opening and closing plenary. This year’s event was focused on the slow acceptance of LEEDv4 since its launch at Greenbuild 2013.
Posted: Oct 14, 2014
Oklahoma City Adopts Resilience Code
Autumn has arrived, the leaves are bursting into brilliant colors, and the nights are cool. It’s hard to believe that we are in the fourth quarter of 2014 already. It is often good to reflect on the events of the year. And the first three quarters of the year were packed full of events that disrupted the lives of many Americans. From wildfires in the Western states, to flash flooding in the Southwest, to a significant earthquake and aftershocks in California, hurricanes in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and wind and hail damage from thunderstorms just about everywhere in the summer.
Posted: Sep 09, 2014
Organizations Align To Simplify Green Building Regulations, Incentives
Big news in the sustainable building industry was the recent announcement of a partnership among five organizations that have been involved in codes, standards and rating programs related to green or sustainable building practice. The announced partnership among the US Green Building Council (USGBC), ASHRAE, International Code Council (ICC), AIA, and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) is being touted as a step toward harmonizing and simplifying the implementation of green building regulations and incentives. The intentions are well-founded, but the details of the interaction among the five groups are just now being disclosed.
Posted: Aug 05, 2014
Photovoltaics And Metal Roofing: A Marriage Getting Even Better
Metal Roofing is the ideal platform for rooftop photovoltaics (PV). The useful service life of typical PV units is often around 30 years before the output is below 80%. The useful service life of unpainted Galvalume® coated sheet standing seam roofing has been found to exceed 60 years based on a study by the Metal Construction Association and the ZAC organization. Service life of this type of roofing system is extended beyond 60 years in certain climate regions in the US.
Posted: Jul 29, 2014
No Going Back To Print: DesignandBuildwithMetal.com More Mobile Friendly
Everywhere I go, somebody is whipping out a tablet or smartphone to look up a product or an answer to some important, or not-so-important, fact. They’re being used literally every day by seemingly everyone . It’s undeniable that these devices have changed the way people live their lives personally and professionally, prompting me to reflect on how significantly electronic devices and media have become ingrained in the world’s culture during the last seven years since Bob Fittro, John Garvey and I launched DesignandBuildwithMetal.com in July 2007.
Posted: Jul 08, 2014
Pending Legislation Could Be Good For Metal Construction Industry
With public opinion about Congress at an all-time low, it’s interesting to see what our legislators are up to. When an earmark bill includes $1.8 million to study why pigs smell, it’s no wonder why the average American feels like Congress is out of touch and dysfunctional. But there are some rays of hope with certain pending bills that could actually help the construction industry.
Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Green Globes Challenging LEED For Certification Program Supremacy
Today worldwide there are over 600 green product certification programs and approximately 200 green building rating programs. Two of the more notable and familiar green building rating programs are BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Here in the US, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced their first version of the LEED green building rating program in 2000.
Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Measuring And Preparing For Your Metal Roofing Jobs
Everyone knows how to measure metal right? Most of the time we would answer yes. Then why when you get into the field to install it you can find yourself short of material, it doesn’t fit, or you missed something? Believe it or not, this happens a lot. One of our recommendations is - be prepared. A couple of things to remember will make it easier.
Posted: Jun 03, 2014
Institutional Knowledge - Are You Doing Your Part To Protect It?
Every business has key people – the ones that everyone goes to when no one else seems to have any answers. They may be managers, supervisors or maybe even hourly employees. This is where it gets tricky – how do you share and preserve the knowledge and experience “aka the essence” of these unique people for the benefit of the entire business? There are several things every company should do to take full advantage of these resources, and today we will cover one of the most effective ones – mentoring.
Posted: May 13, 2014
The Growing Interest In Resilient Building Practice
More and more information is coming forward on activity in the field of resiliency. The Resilient Design Institute defines the term resiliency as “the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance.” A 2011 UN report on disaster risk reduction stated that losses from disasters are rising faster than gains being made through economic growth in all regions.
Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Information Is Everywhere, As Proved By Trying To Avoid It
Once upon a time, there was no written communication and the only way to exchange information was by word of mouth – and even before that, it was likely a system of hand and facial gestures, which I can only imagine led to a great deal of ambiguity and rampant misunderstanding. Fortunately, that pre-dates all of us by at least thousands and thousands of years. Or, is “fortunately” really the best word choice?
Posted: Apr 15, 2014
Code Process Akin To Watching Sausage Being Made
The International Green Construction Code (IgCC) is undergoing modifications in its 3-year code development cycle in 2014. IgCC is just one code of a suite of codes administered by the International Code Council (ICC).The IgCC is an overlay code to be used along with the building, residential, plumbing, or electrical codes. It is also a model code, meaning that once it is approved by ICC, the 2015 edition of IgCC can be adopted (or not adopted) by local jurisdictions if they desire.
Posted: Apr 01, 2014
Mergers And Acquisitions – A Survival Guide
If you have been in the construction products industry for any period of time you are likely to have been exposed to a merger/acquisition, or know colleagues who have. Mergers and acquisitions are an important strategy for corporate survival, and are also a result of cyclical economic activity. They are also somewhat akin to shotgun weddings. As someone who has survived four of them in my career (M&A’s, not weddings!), I’d like to share some of the lessons I’ve learned.
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